Causes and Impacts of Electronic-Wastes

Consumer electronics have become an integral part of daily life and revolutionized the way we communicate, retrieve information, and entertain ourselves. Rapid technological advancements and growth in the electronics industry have led to a constant stream of new products and a resulting decrease in the lifespan of electronics.

What is causing the Increase in Electronic Wastes?

There are various reasons that are causing the E-Waste to increase in large quantities

  • As humans have become more involved in technology, they use this in their everyday lifestyle. They need separate devices like camera, mobile phones, televisions, desktop computers, laptops, etc.
  • The global estimated production of E-Waste is more than 25 million tonnes per year from developed countries like Europe, China, USA and Australia as people are replacing their old devices and are upgrading to the new technology that’s easily available to them.
  • Fast technological evolution and automation of the major industries are the major reason for the increase in E-Wastes. Old electronic items which are still operational are being replaced by people without even using them to their full life cycle.

 

Impacts of these E-Wastes

  • Most of the electronic items are being scrapped out without using any proper product strategies which can help in the recycle and reuse of these products. The developed countries are generating an enormous amount of wastes which is being exported to countries like China, India, Pakistan, Ghana, etc. for recycling and disposal as these countries do not have proper methods to handle these E-Wastes. So, most of these wastes that are landfilled end up being used in other components.
  • When the electronic wastes are dismantled many contaminants like mercury, lead, silver, silicon, etc. reach the environment. There is no proper rules and regulations in the developing countries for handling and disposal of these wastes.
  • The ecosystem and its various components are affected if the chips are burned in the incineration process that is carried out for these electronic wastes. Some electronic wastes generated from the hospitals contain small quantities of radioactive wastes that should be handled by the workers with the use of gloves, masks, etc. The heavy metals that are generated from these e-wastes enter air, water, soil of the respective area and deteriorate the environment.

 

Subscribe to BYJU’S YouTube channel and learn more about the environment, types of natural resources, greenhouse effect, type of wastes, etc.